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This Thameside patio in sight of St Paul’s dome is perhaps the most agreeable (and popular) spot in London at which to sit a spell with a fresh-pulled pint. There’s been a tavern here at least since the 1500s, when Londoners ferried to Southwark by the hundreds to experience bear baiting, gardens, brothels, and Shakespeare (the playwright surely would have known the place). Diarist and royal confidant Samuel Pepys is said to have watched London burn to the ground from the safety of this shore in 1666. The industrial Anchor brewery that subsumed it for 200 years was cleared away in the 1980s, and the spacious (but always crowded) riverside terrace was added. Beer snobs kvetch that it has become a tourist draw, but that’s all right with me; it’s historic, and pubs have always been hangouts for the common man. Few pubs meld abundant history with an enviable location as perfectly.